The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


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Zika Virus sparks concerns as it spreads worldwide

After pushing aside the case of the Ebola virus of 2015, a new global virus has risen in early 2016 to take its place—The Zika Virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this virus is spread through mosquito bites and especially threatening to pregnant women. There is no vaccine or cure for this disease.

With hundreds of people contracting this disease as days go by, It’s not clear what caused this sudden outbreak; it is becoming pretty clear that it is dangerous.

“It’s a relatively new virus,” said Health Science Academy student, Minu Thompson, “There’s no vaccine. We don’t know what to expect or how it will impact us.”

Common symptoms of this virus include, fever, rash, joint, or red eyes; symptoms are usually mild and last between 2-7 days. According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 people that contract the virus become sick. Although the virus is rarely fatal, it still remains in the blood system for a few weeks. People are advised to be careful.

Since its first confirmed report in Brazil, the CDC has since gathered important information to keep the virus contained. Prevention methods include avoiding mosquito bites and staying in places with windows and door nets.

The disease is not only contracted from mosquito bites, but also sexual activity. Therefore any sexual active couples are advised to be careful. The Zika disease has been linked to microcephaly—an abnormal smallness of the head that signifies an incomplete brain development. Women who are pregnant are advised to be cautious and to speak to their healthcare advisor before traveling to an highly affected location.

The CDC urges pregnant women to not visit certain countries, mostly in the Caribbean and South America, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

“A partner that may have been infected by a bite of a mosquito will affect his partner, which could lead to a pregnancy that threatens brain development of the child. It’s basically a mental disorder that’s caused by the Zika virus,” Athens Drive Health science teacher, Jessica Hulsey, said.

So far, this pandemic has affected most of South America, including Mexico and Brazil. Florida Gov., Rick Scott, declared a state of emergency in more than four counties due to nine instances of the virus. All reports were due to travel.

“People are being very transient and traveling, they could bring it to North Carolina. I think, if anything, we’re going to have to look at disease control,” said Hulsey.

As Health Organizations rush to find a vaccine or cure for this threatening virus, the key issue is containment and safety. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Zika Virus an international public health emergency.

“Just like with any new disease that comes out, the national institute of health is really on top of things. CDC—the center of disease control, and OSHA—The Occupational Hazard and Health Administration. I mean, people are going to jump on this and start looking for a cure,” said Hulsey.

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